November 2011 Executions

Four killers were executed in November 2011. They had murdered at least 10 people.
Two killers were given a stay in November 2011. They had murdered at least 7 people.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
November 9, 2011 Texas Twila Busby
Randy Busby
Elwin Caler
Henry Skinner stayed
Henry Watkins Skinner lived with Twila Busby and her two adult sons, Randy Busby and Elwin Caler, both of whom had mental retardation. Between 10:15 and 10:30 p.m., on December 31, 1993, Howard Mitchell came to the residence to take Skinner and Twila to a New Year’s Eve party. Howard found Skinner asleep on the couch and was unable to wake him. Skinner had apparently been drinking. Leaving Skinner on the couch, Twila and Howard went to the party, but Twila soon asked to be taken home because her uncle, Robert Donnell, was drunk and was following her around, making rude sexual advances, and generally agitating her. Howard drove Twila home between 11:00 and 11:15 p.m., and left. At around midnight, Elwin showed up on a neighbor’s porch with stab wounds, from which he subsequently died. Twila was found dead on the living room floor of her home, and Randy’s dead body was found lying face down on the top bunk bed in the sons’ bedroom. Skinner was found by police at Andrea Reed’s house, located three-and-a-half to four blocks away, at around 3:00 a.m. When the police found him, Skinner was standing in a closet and wearing clothing that was heavily stained in blood on both the front and back. At trial, Andrea testified that Skinner arrived at her house at around midnight and that they conversed for three hours. She did not know how he entered her trailer, but when she saw him, he took his shirt off and laid it on a chair. Skinner had a bleeding cut in his right hand. He heated up sewing needles and attempted to bend them to sew up his hand, and then he asked her to sew it, and she agreed. At some point, he went to the bathroom by himself. During their conversation, Andrea attempted to leave the room and call the police, but Skinner stopped her and threatened to kill her. Skinner told Andrea multiple stories about what happened at his home. He claimed that a Mexican came to the door and pulled a knife, that Twila was in bed with her ex-husband with whom Skinner got into a fist-fight, that Skinner thought he had killed Twila by trying to kick her to death, that Ricky Palmer broke into the house, and that cocaine dealers were looking for Twila and wanted her really bad. The medical examiner found that Twila had been strangled into unconsciousness and subsequently beaten at least fourteen times about the face and head with a club. DNA testing matched the blood on Skinner’s clothing to Twila and Elwin. Three bloody handprints matching Skinner’s were found in the house: one in the sons’ bedroom and two on doorknobs leading out the back door. A toxicological test of Skinner’s blood, conducted at 5:48 a.m., showed that Skinner had 0.11 milligrams of codeine per liter of blood and a blood alcohol level of 0.11. Defense counsel presented three defenses at trial. First, defense counsel focused on the State’s failure to test some of the DNA evidence to show that the State engaged in a sloppy investigation. Second, defense counsel painted Robert Donnell as an alternate suspect who could have committed the murders. Finally, defense counsel presented evidence that Skinner was too incapacitated by his intoxication to have committed the murders. Dr. William Lowry, the defense toxicologist, testified that most people at Skinner’s level of intoxication would be comatose or asleep, and in any event, between 12:00 and 3:30 a.m., Skinner would have been in a stupor, with impaired consciousness, general apathy, and an inability to stand or walk. Dr. Lowry believed that Skinner was too incapacitated to travel to different rooms to kill the victims. However, Dr. Lowry was surprised that Skinner could locate Andrea’s house at midnight and that he asked her to sew up his hand. Skinner was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
November 10, 2011 Virginia Keshia Stephens, 27
Rueben E. Harrison III, 19
Nykia Stephens, 4
Shearyia Benns Stephens, 2
Anthony Juniper stayed
On the afternoon of January 16, 2004, Keshia Stephens, her younger brother Rueben Harrison, III, and two of Keshia’s daughters, Nykia Stephens and Shearyia Benns Stephens, were killed in Keshia’s apartment in the City of Norfolk. When police arrived, they found that the door to Keshia’s apartment had been forcibly opened. All four victims were discovered in the master bedroom; each had died as a result of gunshot wounds. Keshia was stabbed through her abdomen, shot three times, and grazed by a fourth bullet. One bullet went through her intestine, kidney, and spine, causing spinal shock and leg paralysis. Another bullet also passed through her intestines and then proceeded to her abdominal aorta and inferior vena cava, causing extensive bleeding. The stab wound did not fatally wound Keshia, but tore through the muscle of her abdominal wall. There was a great deal of blood accompanying the wound, however, which led the medical examiner performing the autopsy to conclude that the stab wound was probably the first injury inflicted on Keshia. The stab wound was consistent with a wound that would have been caused by the knife blade found at the scene of the crime. Two-year old Shearyia was shot four times while in her mother’s arms. Two bullets entered Shearyia’s body in the shin of her left leg, fractured the bone, and exited through her calf. A third bullet entered and exited Shearyia’s body through her thigh. The fourth bullet entered the crown of her head and passed through her brain, causing bone fragments to chip off. Rueben Harrison was shot three times. One bullet struck his pelvic bone, and ricocheted through his body into his abdomen, liver, heart and lung, finally coming to rest in his armpit. A second bullet hit his hip bone, and exited through the front of his leg. A third bullet broke his femur bone, and exited his body at his front thigh. The medical examiner testified that the broken bones would have caused excruciating pain and immediately disabled Rueben. Four-year old Nykia was shot one time behind her left ear. The bullet moved through her skull and cerebellum to the base of her skull, into her esophagus and trachea, causing substantial damage and bleeding, before exiting her chest. The medical examiner testified that the bullet’s path was consistent with Nykia ducking her head and body toward the shooter prior to being shot. In addition, the presence of blood in Nykia’s lungs indicated that she had taken one or two breaths between being shot and dying. Her body was found lying on top of her uncle’s body. Evidence presented at trial showed that Juniper and Keshia had been involved in an on-again, off-again tumultuous relationship for approximately two years. On the morning of the shootings, Juniper telephoned his friend, Renee Rashid, from his mother’s house where he was living at the time. Juniper asked Rashid to drive him to Keshia’s apartment so that he could retrieve some of his belongings. A short time later Rashid picked up Juniper at his mother’s house and drove him to Keshia’s apartment. Both Juniper and Rashid entered Keshia’s apartment, which was on the second floor of the apartment building. Rashid saw four individuals in the apartment:  Keshia, Rueben, who was asleep on the couch, and two of Keshia’s children, Nykia and Shearyia, who were preparing to take a bath. After helping Juniper disconnect a DVD player, Rashid was talking to the two girls, but overheard Juniper and Keshia arguing in another room. Keshia repeatedly made comments such as, “There’s nobody but you. I told you I’m not seeing anybody but you.” After Rashid announced that she was leaving, Juniper followed her to the door of the apartment. Hearing the door shut, Rashid assumed Juniper was behind her as she began to descend the apartment building steps. But as she was going down the stairway outside Keshia’s apartment, Rashid heard a “loud boom” that she described as “sounding like the door being kicked in." Not stopping to look behind her, Rashid hurried to her car. While waiting in her car outside the apartment, Rashid heard Keshia crying and repeating her statement that she was not seeing anyone but Juniper. Rashid sounded her horn to alert Juniper that she wanted to leave. Juniper yelled at Rashid to “Go ahead” so she began to drive away. As she drove away from the apartment she heard four “booms,” which she described as “sounding like gunshots.” Rashid did not stop, but proceeded to Juniper’s mother’s house, and expressed her concern that Juniper had remained at Keshia’s apartment. Juniper’s friend, Keon Murray, was there when Rashid arrived. Juniper called his mother’s house and Murray talked to him on the telephone. Murray observed that Juniper was calling from Keshia’s apartment because the Caller ID number matched Keshia’s telephone number. Juniper told Murray that “They gone,” and that Keshia’s apartment was surrounded. He also stated that he “killed them,” although he did not name particular individuals. Murray then called Tyrone Mings, a friend who lived near Keshia’s apartment building, and asked him to check Keshia’s apartment. Mings walked to the apartment and observed that the front door appeared to have been kicked in. Upon entering Keshia’s apartment, Mings testified that he saw Juniper standing in the living room with a white substance on his face and holding an automatic pistol. When Mings asked Juniper about Keshia, Juniper directed Mings to the back of the apartment. Upon entering the master bedroom, Mings saw Rueben and a young girl lying on the bed. Mings did not see Keshia and asked Juniper where she was. Juniper told Mings she was “between the bed and the dresser." Mings returned to the bedroom and called to the people in the room, but no one answered. Mings departed Keshia’s apartment, leaving Juniper in the living room, still holding the pistol. Upon returning to his apartment, Mings called the police. In the meantime, Rashid and Murray picked up Juniper’s cousin (“Little John”) and drove to Keshia’s apartment. Murray and Little John went to look for Juniper, while Rashid stayed in the car. They returned to the car with Juniper, who sat in the front passenger seat next to Rashid, the driver. Rashid described Juniper as being “jittery” and “breathing real hard." Juniper kept looking in the mirrors, saying, “they’re behind us” throughout the car ride. Murray stated that Juniper “look[ed] nervous,” “[l]ike he was in shock,” and that he had a powdery substance like cocaine on his face. Juniper held a black and chrome automatic pistol in his right hand, resting on his lap. The police first arrived at Keshia’s apartment complex at 12:50 p.m., after receiving a telephone call reporting possible gunshots. The responding officer walked around the apartment building and spoke with two residents, but did not go up the stairway to Keshia’s apartment. After conferring with a second police officer who had arrived on scene, both officers left the apartment complex believing the call to have been a false report. Mings observed the officers leave and called the police a second time. Near 2:20 p.m. police officers again arrived at the apartment complex and this time went up the stairway to Keshia’s apartment. Officer W.G. Snyder testified the “whole center part of the door was completely knocked ․ inward into the apartment, and wooden debris from the door was lying inside the apartment." The officers entered the apartment, and observed Nykia’s body lying across Rueben on the bed in the master bedroom. They then observed Shearyia’s body lying across Keshia’s body on the floor beside the bed. The officers received no response from any of them. Police investigators recovered a cigarette butt from the floor by the front door of Keshia’s apartment. From the master bedroom where the bodies were located, investigators recovered a knife blade, a knife handle, and shell casings. Shell casings were also found in a bathroom adjoining the master bedroom. A firearm and toolmark examinations expert testified that bullet casings found in the apartment and the bullets recovered from the victims’ bodies were fired from a single nine-millimeter, Luger semi-automatic pistol. The weapon was never recovered. The expert also analyzed the recovered knife blade and knife handle and determined that the blade and handle were originally joined. A latent fingerprint expert testified a fingerprint found on the knife blade had “a minimum of 23 matching characteristics” to Juniper’s right thumbprint. In addition, an expert in forensic serology and DNA analysis testified that Juniper’s DNA profile matched DNA from the knife handle and the cigarette butt. The police obtained warrants for Juniper’s arrest and he surrendered voluntarily on January 26, 2005. While incarcerated at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail awaiting trial, Juniper admitted to a fellow inmate, Ernest Smith, that he committed the murders. Smith testified that while the two were together in the medical pod at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail, Juniper confessed to shooting the four victims. Smith testified that Juniper told him that he had killed the children because “he didn’t want to leave any witnesses at the scene of the crime.”
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
November 15, 2011 Florida Joan Rogers, 36
Michelle Rogers, 17
Christe Rogers, 14
Oba Chandler executed
On Sunday, June 4, 1989 at approximately 9:30 a.m. boaters discovered three decomposed female bodies floating in South Tampa Bay. The bodies were later identified as Mrs. Joan Rogers and her daughters, Michelle and Christe. At the time of their deaths in 1989, Joan was 36, Michelle 17 and Christe was 14. Dr. Edward Corcoran, an Associate Medical Examiner, performed autopsies on all three women on June 4 and determined that the cause of death to each was asphyxiation caused either by strangulation from the ropes tied around their necks or by drowning. Dr. Corcoran estimated that the women had died sometime between the evening of June 1 and the morning of June 2, 1989. He described the bodies as being bloated and decomposed. Each was nude from the waist down. There was duct tape on the face or the head of Christe and Michelle. Christe and Joan’s hands were each tied behind their backs with clothesline-type rope. Michelle’s right hand had clothesline-type rope around the wrist but the left hand was free with only a loop of rope. Michelle’s ankles were bound with clothesline-type rope. Joan and Michelle each had a yellow nylon rope around their neck which was attached to a concrete block. The concrete block around 1 Joan’s neck had three holes in it. The object tied to the yellow nylon rope around Christe’s neck had been cut. Christe and Joan’s ankles were each tied together with yellow nylon rope. There were no fractures of the hyoid bones. Besides ligature marks and discoloration behind the upper esophagus and darkening and hemorrhaging in the neck tissues of each woman, no other injuries were determined. Dr. Corcoran looked for and did not find any genital injuries. He did not look for semen nor did he expect to find any as semen would have decomposed or been washed away by the action of the water. From the contents of Joan Rogers’ stomach, Dr. Corcoran was able to estimate that she last ate four to eight hours prior to her death. Dr. Bernard Ross, an expert regarding the characteristics of water movement in Tampa Bay, testified that all three of the bodies were dumped in Tampa Bay at the same location. Based on his study, Dr. Ross opined that none of the bodies could have been thrown from a land mass such as Gandy Bridge or Howard Frankland Bridge. At the time of their deaths, the Rogers were vacationing in Florida. The evidence showed that on Thursday, June 1 at 9:34 a.m. the Rogers checked out of the Gateway Inn in Orlando and went to Tampa, They checked into the Days Inn in Tampa shortly after the noon hour on June 1, 1989. Phone records from the hotel show that two calls made from the Rogers’ room on June 1. One was placed at 12:37 pm for nine minutes and another call was placed locally in Tampa at 12:57 pm for less than a minute. Harold Malloy, a guest at the Days Inn, saw the Rogers in the hotel’s restaurant on June 1, between 7:00 and 7:30 p.m. The Rogers left the restaurant at about 7:30 or 7:35 p.m. The general manager of the Days Inn, Rocky Point on the Courtney Campbell Causeway was alerted by housekeeping on June 8 that the Rogers’ room did not appear to have been inhabited for a few days. After an inspection of the premises, he contacted law enforcement who came out, secured the scene and obtained records from the hotel regarding the occupants. Officers identified numerous personal articles, clothing, suitcases and papers belonging to the occupants. There were canisters of film which had been exposed. These were developed and the last three pictures on the last roll of film showed the Days Inn Hotel, Room 251 and one of Michelle standing on the balcony of the hotel. Dr. Kendal Carder, a professor of oceanography at the University of South Florida opined at trial that the photograph of Michelle was taken sometime between 6:20 p.m. and 8:20 p.m. on June 1, 1989. Neither the camera nor the clothing depicted in the picture of Michelle was found in the victims’ vehicle or among the evidence seized from Room 251 of the Days Inn. The police found the Rogers’ locked car parked at a boat ramp on the causeway. There was sand wedged around the tires of the vehicle indicating it had been there for some time. Detectives later found a set of car keys belonging to the victims’ car in a purse known to belong to Michelle Rogers in the motel room. A search of the vehicle revealed several exhibits, including a piece of Days Inn, Rocky Point stationery; an index card with directions to Gateway Inn, Orlando; notebook paper with personal notes; a key to Days Inn Room 251; a Clearwater Beach brochure; a Hampton Inn coupon; a Jacksonville Zoo receipt and a road atlas. FBI Agent James Henry Mathis determined that a note handwritten on Days Inn stationery found in the victims’ car was written by Joan Rogers. The note read, "Turn right. West W on 60, two and one-half miles before the bridge on the right side at light, blue w/wht." Theresa Stubbs, an examiner of questioned documents for the FDLE at the Tampa Regional Crime Laboratory, examined the handwriting on the Clearwater Beach brochure and identified Oba Chandler as the writer. From her analysis, Ms. Stubbs determined that the "Boy Scout, Columbus" portion of the writing on the brochure may have been written by Joan Rogers. Rollins Cooper worked as a subcontractor for Oba Chandler in 4 the spring of 1989 for 3-6 months. He testified that on June, 1,1989, between eleven and twelve a.m. Chandler brought him some screen. Cooper asked Chandler why he was in such a big hurry and Chandler told him he had a date with three women. Cooper met Chandler the next morning at 7:05 a.m. Cooper thought Chandler was kind of grubby. When Cooper asked him why he looked like that he said that he had been out on his boat all night. Oba had a place next to his house where the scrap aluminum from the different jobs would be left. There were also some eight-by-sixteen building blocks laying there and a boat trailer. The state also presented the testimony of Judy Blair and her companion Barbara Mottram concerning Chandler’s sexual battery of Judy Blair in Madeira Beach. Judy Blair testified that she and Barbara were in Florida on vacation from Ontario, Canada, when they met Chandler at a convenience store. Chandler told them that he knew the area and that he worked in the area; that it was a highcrime area and that two young girls should be very careful. He said his name was "Dave" and he worked in the aluminum-siding business. He said that he had a boat and because he knew the area so well, he would take them out on the boat and show them the area from the water. After they told him they were from Canada, he told them he was from upstate New York. His demeanor was very friendly, very warm. They made plans for the next day and what time he would pick them up. Chandler invited both Judy and Barbara out on the boat. The next morning Barbara insisted that she did not want to go and Judy told her that the plans were made and that she had no way to get hold of the person. Chandler had told Judy that he would be coming from approximately two hours away. She decided to go even though Barbara would not be going. Wearing a white T-shirt, a pair of cotton shorts, sneakers and a bathing suit underneath, Judy met Chandler at 10:30 a.m. He was in an older blue and white boat. The interior bottom was white or off-white. There was a space under the bow; a storage area with equipment. She saw white ropes in the compartment down below. Judy did not remember seeing any concrete blocks on the boat. When Judy explained that Barbara wasn’t coming, Chandler seemed disappointed. He pulled some duct tape from the storage area and taped the steering wheel. He told Judy that he kept his boat lifted up out of the water on davits. At approximately 4:30 he returned Judy to the docks. He said that he had some difficulty with his boat and he had to attend to it. He told her to go home and get dinner, her camera so she could take pictures of the sunset and get Barbara. He specifically asked Judy to get Barbara. They were to meet back later at the same dock after dinner. Judy could not convince Barbara to go and Judy went back to the dock by herself. She took her camera with her. The man was already at the dock. He seemed "ticked off" that Barbara did not come. It was still daylight when they got on the boat and went under the bridge into the gulf. They drove through the gulf and stopped to take pictures of the sunset. Dave was in some of the pictures and Judy was in some of the pictures. They started to fish and Judy expressed concern that it was getting dark and she needed to get back; that people were waiting for her back on land. He started complimenting her and asked for her to give him a hug, She thanked him for the compliments and declined to give him a hug. He pulled Judy towards him and started touching her arms and around her body. He told her he was going to have sex with her. She told him "no" and asked him to take her back home. She started screaming and he said, "You think somebody is going to hear you? " Judy was panicky and was pleading with him to take her back. At one point he started the boat; she thought to return to the shore. He took her further out in the water instead. Chandler stopped the boat and told her, "You’re going to have sex with me. There’s no way around it. What are you going to do, jump over the side of the boat?" Judy continually screamed and tried to get away from him. He sat on the passenger seat and pulled his pants down and took the back of Judy’s head and made her perform fellatio on him. He put a towel down on the bottom of the boat and forcibly put her down. Judy was screaming and crying and he told her to "Shut up. Shut up. If you don’t shut the fuck up, I’m going to tape your mouth. Do you want me to tape your mouth?" He pulled down the bottom half of what she was wearing and said, "You’re going to have sex with me." Judy was kicking and screaming and crying and he was saying, "I’ll tape your mouth. I’ll tape your mouth." At that point she became fairly quiet. He also made reference to the fact that, "Is sex really something to lose your life over?" He started fondling her vaginal area. She was menstruating and he found the tampon and he pulled it out. At some point Chandler rolled Judy over onto her knees and attempted to penetrate her anally. She pleaded with him not to do that; that she had rectal cancer. He turned her over and penetrated her vaginally. He ejaculated, immediately pulled out, pulled his pants back up. He threw her a thermos bottle filled with water and told her to wash herself out. He took the camera, ripped the film out and threw it overboard. Then he wiped down the camera. He told Judy, "I know you’re going to report this, but please give me a chance to go home to tell my little old mother." He took her back to shore. He dropped her off on the other shore of the channel from Don’s Dock. Judy walked home. She did not say anything to her mother or aunt or uncle when she got back. She just wanted to have a bath and go to bed. After her mother and aunt and uncle left the condominium, Judy told Barbara what happened. She ultimately reported it to the police later that evening of the 16th. Judy gave a description of the clothing "Dave" was wearing the evening he assaulted her and identified it at trial. Barbara confirmed Judy’s testimony concerning how they met Chandler, that he was driving a black or very dark vehicle which resembled a Jeep Cherokee, that he was from upstate New York but resided in Florida and that he had to travel a little bit of a ways to get to Madeira Beach. Barbara confirmed that Judy came back to retrieve Barbara to go out on the boat. Judy said that both she and "Dave" (Chandler) wanted her to go on the sunset cruise. Barbara declined this second invitation. Judy took a camera with her. The next morning Judy related to Barbara what had happened to her the night before on the boat. Barbara testified that Judy was devastated. She was in shock. She was in tears and sobbing all day long. Barbara picked Oba Chandler’s photograph out of a photo pack, identified him in a lineup of people and in the courtroom. Barbara also identified a photograph of Chandler’s car and a photograph of Chandler as being more consistent with the what he looked like in 1989 than in the courtroom. Detective James Kappell, of the St. Petersburg Police Department testified that in September, 1989 he became aware that a rape had occurred in Madeira Beach involving two Canadian tourists. Kappell traveled to Canada to interview Judy Blair and Barbara Mottram. Kappell obtained a composite drawing of "Dave". The description of the suspect’s vehicle, boat and his composite was released to the press and seen by Chandler’s neighbor Joann Steffey. Ms. Steffey thought of Chandler when she saw the composite. She was aware that Chandler had a boat. It was blue and white with a blue top cover. Chandler had a black four-wheel drive vehicle. In May, 1992 Ms. Steffey observed another newspaper article talking about the rape and the Rogers’ homicides. The article contained a picture of the handwriting involved on a brochure. Upon seeing this second newspaper article, Ms. Steffey obtained a sample of Chandler’s handwriting and concluded that it was the same. Ms. Steffey called the Task Force in St. Petersburg to notify them of her belief. Her neighbor FAX’d the handwriting sample to the police for their comparison. Derek Galpin testified that he sold Chandler his boat. When he sold the boat to Chandler he told him that the English translation for the German name on the back of the boat meant GYPSY * The steering wheel was in pretty bad shape and had a black, very tacky sort of covering. Galpin also sold the residence to Chandler. There were six, seven, or eight rough gray concrete blocks with two square holes in them on the side of the house. Robert Carlton bought the blue and white boat from Chandler in July/August, 1989. The boat trailer was parked on the side of Chandler’s house and was sold with the boat. The boat had a V-6 engine in it and a VHF radio in it. When Carlton got the boat from Chandler the interior was real clean. "It was spotless". Carlton recalled seeing concrete blocks at the Chandler house and that some of the concrete blocks had three holes and some had two. Oba Chandler’s daughter, Kristal Mays testified that she lived in Ohio. Chandler left when she was 7 and she did not see him again until the mid-eighties when she hired a detective to find her him. When the detective found Chandler he was incarcerated in Florida. Kristal and her sister, Valerie Lynn Troxell, visited him in the Spring of 1986. Lynn was also Chandler’s daughter. Kristal was closer to Chandler than her sister. After Chandler was released from prison, Kristal and her family visited with the Chandler’s in Florida. In November of 1989 Chandler called her in Cincinnati and left a number at a Cincinnati motel where he could be reached. Kristal did not know he was coming to visit. Chandler told her that he wanted her and her husband to come to the motel; it was very important. Chandler’s Jeep was backed in front of another building, not the building he was staying in. The license plate was up against the building. Kristal remembered that Chandler had a dark colored Jeep vehicle in 1989. Upon entering the motel room, she observed numerous coffee cups, the ashtrays were overflowing with cigarette butts and her father was very anxious and nervous. She had not seen him act like that in the past. Chandler told them he couldn’t go back to Florida because they were looking for him for a rape of a woman. Kristal remembered that Chandler’s words were "I can’t go back to Florida because the police are looking for me for the rape of a woman." Chandler later called and apologized for the way he had been acting. Chandler did not have luggage or appropriate clothing for that time of year. They had to buy him some clothes. He later told Kristal, she couldn’t remember whether he said "dock or pier, but he said that he picked a woman up, and she got away." Chandler did not give Kristal any further explanation of that statement. He told Kristal, "I can’t go back to Florida because the police are looking for me because I killed some women." During none of these conversations did Chandler indicate that he was innocent of the things he was talking about. He never once indicated that the police had the wrong man. Chandler never said, "I am 12 innocent of the crime and never said I am the one who murdered the women." Kristal said that Chandler "did not directly to me say, I murdered the women. He did not say that directly to me." After that night, Kristal did not talk about this any more with her father. Chandler directed Kristal not to tell anyone where he was, including his wife, Debbie. Chandler wanted to trade the Jeep he had for the car Kristal had. Chandler did not indicate why he wanted to get rid of his vehicle. While he was there, Chandler sold Kristal some jewelry. At a later point in time, Chandler contacted Kristal and asked her to set up a phone call between he and his wife Debbie. According to the telephone tolls for Kristal’s number in 1989, there were a series of phone tolls to Tampa on November 10. Oba had called Kristal and wanted her to call Debbie and tell her to go to a phone booth. He said he couldn’t call her at home; he was afraid his lines were tapped. (V91, T1148) After Kristal called her, Debbie went to the phone booth, called Kristal and told her she was at the phone booth. Chandler called Kristal back, told her to tell Debbie to go to another phone booth because he thought someone might be following her. Kristal saw Chandler again in October, 1990. Chandler had Kristal’s husband set up a drug deal. Chandler wound up taking some money from the drug dealers and leaving her husband literally holding the bag. Kristal’s husband was badly beaten up and almost killed. Their house was attacked by the drug dealers at some point. She was in nursing school at the time and she had to drop out and move her family out of the house. Prior to Chandler’s going back up to Cincinnati in 1990 and the incident with her husband, Kristal talked with Debra Chandler and Lula Harris about what her father had told her. Kristal asked them if there was any such crime in the state of Florida. They said there was nothing like that going on. Debbie thought he was having a nervous breakdown and told Kristal to tell him to go home. As a result of what they told her, Kristal told her sister Valerie Troxell, but did not call the police. Kristal said that she was upset with her father for what he had done but that she did not hate her father. Kristal wanted Rick to call the police on Chandler; to report to the police that he had put a gun on him. She said that she still did not understand why he did it, but that she was not angry with him anymore. stop Chandler was arrested on September 24, 1992 and this incident occurred in October, 1990. After Chandler was arrested Kristal cooperated with law enforcement to try to tape conversations that she had with him. Kristal admitted lying to her father by denying to him that she had cooperated with law enforcement. The purpose of taping the conversations was to try to get some sort of an admission out of Chandler that he had done "this". Kristal had previously been convicted of a crime involving dishonesty. She went on national television, Hard Copy, on January 26, 1994. They paid her $1,000 for her story. Kristal declined an offer to appear on the Maury Povich show. She was aware there was a $25,000 reward for Chandler’s conviction but she did not consider herself "in the running for that".Two years before, on October 6, 1992, she gave a sworn statement to the State Attorney’s Office concerning the case. Valerie Lynn Troxell was Kristal Mays’ sister and lived in Ohio. She was also Oba Chandler’s daughter. Valerie recalled a time in the fall of 1989 when Chandler appeared unexpectedly in Ohio. She remembered him being very anxious. He was extremely upset. He was chain-smoking cigarettes and was different than he was on other occasions when she contacted him. Valerie asked him several times why he was acting that way and Chandler avoided the conversation. Then, he finally said that he had to get rid of a woman in Florida. That she was trying to say that he raped her. He never gave her any more details and he did not indicate that he was innocent or that he hadn’t done it. Chandler had not brought any luggage or clothing with him to Ohio that was appropriate for that time of year. He was trying to trade or sell his vehicle. Valerie recalled that it was one of the all-terrain, Jeep-type vehicles. He gave instructions for them to say that they had not seen him if anyone was trying to find him or look for him. Valerie said that Kristal related to her what her father had said to her during his visit to Ohio in 1989. Valerie went on national television, Hard Copy, and received $1,000. She went on the show for the money. The only reason Valerie was upset with Chandler at the time of the trial was because he wrote a letter to her employer telling her the things she had disclosed to the FBI and put Kristal’s job in jeopardy. James Rick Mays lived in Cincinnati and was Kristal Mays’s husband. He vacationed at Chandler’s house in late July and early August, 1989. While Rick was visiting, Chandler took him on a couple of aluminum jobs during the day. Chandler took Rick to John’s Pass on Madeira Beach. During their travels, Chandler at some point began to talk about sex. As they were crossing the bridge, Chandler pointed off to the right, which was John’s Pass and said that he picked up a lot of women at that point. He said that he had forcible sex with a lady that he had picked up from that area. Chandler told Rick that he raped somebody and one of them got away. Rick recalled a time in the fall of 1989, approximately November 7 or 9th, when Chandler showed up unexpected in Cincinnati, Ohio. Over the next day or two Rick had contact with Chandler. They rode together on an errand to Dayton. Kristal was not in the car. On the way to Dayton, Rick remembered Chandler saying that he told him they were looking for him for the murder of three women in Florida. The way Chandler talked, Rick thought that he actually did it. In none of the conversations did Chandler indicate to Rick that he was innocent or that the police were looking for the wrong man. Another time during this period Chandler came to their house one evening and Kristal was there. Chandler said he could not go home because of the murders of the women in Florida. When they got back to the house, Chandler was talking a little bit about the either the rape or murders although Rick did not recall exactly what he said at that time. Chandler told them to tell anyone who called looking for him that they hadn’t seen him. Rick was aware that his wife arranged a phone call between Mr. Chandler and his wife. Subsequently, in 1990, Chandler went back to the Ohio area. He showed up at the door and said he ripped off the Coast Guard for some marijuana and that he had it tucked away and he wanted to know if Rick knew anybody that he could sell it to. Chandler said he’d pay Rick $6,000 to help him. Rick put Chandler in touch with a guy and they worked out a deal. Rick’s role in the transaction was to pick up the money ($29,000) and bring it back to his house. When Rick arrived with the money, Chandler was sitting in the front yard in his pickup and he had his gun out. Rick said, "You know, this isn’t the way it’s supposed to go." The guy walked around the other side and dropped the money into the other side of the truck and Rick was trying to get the keys away from Chandler so he couldn’t start the truck and take off. Chandler brought the gun up to Rick’s forehead and said, "Family don’t mean shit to me." Chandler hit Rick with the gun and he had to let go. Chandler got the truck started and left with the money. m91, T1.239) The guys took Rick back to their place. They thought Rick and Chandler were partners. They put a shotgun in Rick’s mouth and threatened him. During this time, Chandler called and said, "Guess you know by now, you have been ripped off" and again, "Family don’t mean shi+ to me." Chandler wanted to trade the money back for cocaine. The guys who were the purchasers let Rick go. When Chandler visited Mays in November, 1989, Rick said that Chandler may have said "accused" or "looking" for the raping of three women, Mr. Kebel testified as to the phone bill of March 31, 1989 for the telephone number 813-854-2823. There was a collect call from Gypsy One in Clearwater billing area on May 15, 1989. The call was placed by the marine operator. There were four calls made on November 10, 1989 from Kristal Mays to the 813-854- 2823 number subscribed to Debra Chandler. Ms. White discussed a toll ticket dated July 5, 1989. A marine call was placed from the boat Cigeuner to 813-854-2823 in Tampa, Florida. The ticket was filled out by the operator at the time the vessel was providing the information to make the call. The name given was Obey, O-b-e-y. The call started at 12:38 a.m. and was a two-minute-and-thirty-one second call. Ms. White testified as to a toll ticket for May 15, 1989 showing a toll call of two minutes eight seconds. This particular call connected at 5:49 p.m. Ms. White testified as to a toll ticket for June 2, 1989 showing a toll call made at 1:12 a.m. Ms. White testified as to a toll ticket for June 2, 1989 showing a connect time of 1:30 a.m. The call was a one-minute call. The length of the call made at one-twelve was five minutes. There was another call made on June 2, 1989 at 8:11 a.m. and the duration was for four minutes. Another call on that same date was made at 9:52 a.m. That call was for one minute. According to the phone bill for 813-854-2823, subscriber Debra Chandler, several marine calls were indicated. The first one was for May 15, 1989. There were others for March 17, 1989 and five calls on June 2, 1989. There was one marine call on July 5, 1989. MS White actually went through and found the toll tickets on the microfiche in 1994. Soraya Butler was a marine operator for GTE in 1989. Ms. Butler received a call on May 15, 1989 at about 5:49 p.m. The caller identified himself as Oba and his boat at Gypsy One. She placed a call for him to Tampa. Elizabeth Beiro was a marine operator for GTE for 31 years. Ms. Beiro received a call on June 2, 1989 at about 1:12 a.m. The caller identified himself as being boat Gypsy One. The caller did not give a first name. The call was placed to 854- 2823. Toll ticket for 1:30 a.m. on June 2, 1989 was placed by Gypsy One. The caller did not identify himself with a personal name. The collect call was sent to the same number as before. The boat that placed the call on July 5, 1989 at 12:38 a.m was the Zigeuner. The caller gave a personal name of Obey. The call went to 854-2823. Carol Voeller was a marine operator for GTE in 1989. She testified as to toll ticket dated June 2, 1989 at 8:11 a.m. The name of the boat calling was the Gypsy and the person calling did not give a personal name. The collect call was to Tampa number 854-2823. Frances Watkins was a marine operator for GTE in 1989. She testified that a collect call was made on June 2, 1989 at 9:52 a.m. from the boat Gypsy One. The caller identified himself as Obie. In September, 1992 Detective Halliday interviewed the victim, Judy Blair in the rape case that occurred in Madeira Beach. She described the shirt, shoes and hat that Chandler wore on that occasion. Subsequent to that interview in September, 1992, Detect ive Hall day participated in a search pursuant to warrant of Chandler’s residence in Port Orange. During the search law enforcement located a shirt matching the description given by Judy Blair. Detective Halliday also removed a hat and shoes that matched the general description given by Ms. Blair. The search warrant was issued in the Madeira Beach rape case. It was the next morning that he returned to Mr. Chandler’s house and searched. Law enforcement performed a meticulous search of the house. They did not find any ladies’ purses, material coming from the purses, or clothing relating to the Rogers’ case. The green mesh shirt, hat and shoes were seized in the Madeira Beach case based on Judy Blair’s description. Arthur Wayne Stephenson, an inmate in the Florida State Prison System was in the same cell as Chandler on October 23, 1992 and November 3, 1992. At a point in time something was mentioned on the TV concerning the three women they found in the bay and the fact that a note had been found in their car by whoever had given them directions. There was a period of about 3-4 days when the TV would show pictures of recovering the bodies and the note and the handwriting. Chandler would say that he had met these three women somewhere in the area of the stadium on Dale Mabry and sometimes talked about the note. Chandler openly told Stephenson that he had met the three women. Chandler said he gave the women directions to a boat ramp on the Courtney Campbell Causeway. Chandler said he lived in the area of the causeway. Chandler talked about having a boat. Chandler was questioned by detectives about duct tape and the rape case that was mentioned on TV. Chandler told Stephenson that when he met the three women they were from the same state or the same area as he was. Chandler said one of the girls was very attractive. Stephenson identified Oba Chandler in the courtroom. All of the statements made by Chandler to Stephenson were made in a period of about a month. William Katzer, an inmate in the Florida State Prison system shared a jail cell pod with Chandler from January 16, 1993 to February 25, 1993. It was a four-man pod. Katzer shared a room with Daniel Toby and Chandler and David Rittenhouse shared the other room. At some point in time the program A Current Affair came on the TV. All four inmates were present. After the program aired, Chandler said that "if the bitch didn’t resist" he "wouldn’t’ be here". Chandler said that he had an alibi to cover himself. He said that he had a duped videotape that his wife had where they were going to falsify the date so he would have an alibi for the case that was pertaining to the murders. Katzer became a witness after detectives approached him at the facility where he as at. Katzer identified Chandler in the courtroom. Blake Leslie, an inmate at the Pinellas County Jail with Chandler in the fall of 1992, testified that Chandler told him that 22 he took a young lady from another country for a ride in this boat. Her friend didn’t want her to go. Once he got out 20-30 miles, he told her, "f*ck or swim." He said the only reason she is still around is because somebody was waiting at the boat dock for her. Leslie was approached by law enforcement officers to see if he knew something about been convicted heard Chandler Chandler and he initially lied to them. Leslie had of 9 felonies. Leslie never say anything about any murder, just about rapes. Oba Chandler took the stand and testified that at the end of May, beginning of June, 1992 he was living with his wife, Debra, and daughter, Whitney, at 10709 Dalton Avenue, Tampa, Florida. At the time, he was an aluminum contractor and the name of the business was Custom Screens. The boat that he owned at the end of May and June, 1989, was a 21-foot Bayliner. It had a blue hull, white interior, blue canvas top. His only hobby was fishing. He said that he did not drink. He bought this 1976 Bayliner from Mr. Derek Galpin for $2,100 and sold it to Mr. Carlton for $5,000. Bob Foley went over to Chandler’s house on Memorial Day, 1989. They went out in the boat. It had a marine radio and Chandler knew how to use it. That weekend Chandler sold Mr. Foley a couch and when he returned home, Chandler, his wife and his daughter followed him back to about Sanford because the lights weren’t working on his trailer. They turned right around and drove home. Chandler testified that he worked the week after Memorial Day, but he could not remember exactly what he did on May 31 or on June 1, 1989. Chandler did recall meeting Michelle Rogers on June 1. According to him Christe was hanging out of the car and he never met Joan. He only spoke with Michelle; he never spoke with anyone else. Chandler was returning from an estimate and he stopped at a gas station on 50th and I4. When he came back out, Michelle asked him if he knew where the Days Inn on Sixty was. There was a Days Inn right there where they were talking. He pointed it out to her and Christe stuck her head out of the car hollering, "Rocky Point. Rocky Point." Chandler told them they did not want this one. They wanted the one on Courtney Campbell Causeway. He said that he was very familiar with it. He gave them directions. He said to take the expressway and go around. He did not pay any attention to where they went. He said the conversation took a total of two minutes. Chandler indicated on a map introduced by defense counsel the directions he gave to the women. According to the map and his directions, in order to get on the interstate, one would have to go onto Columbus Drive; which was less than a mile away. Chandler said that he did not write the directions. That they had a pamphlet and he just wrote it on top of the pamphlet. He simply printed on the top of the brochure, "Route Sixty, Courtney Campbell Causeway, Days Inn." That’s all he said he did. He did not draw any directions. Chandler testified that he never saw those people again in his life. He did not kill those people. He did not take them out on his boat. Chandler testified that he probably gave screens to Rollins Cooper on June 1 but he could not say so for sure because his memory was not like that, Chandler never told Rollins Cooper that he had a date with three women. Nor did he have a date with three women. Chandler did not recall whether he paid Rollins Cooper that day for the Betancur job but that based on the records, he obviously did. Chandler was surprised to see the records which indicated that he was out on his boat that night. He thought it was the weekend before the Fourth of July. He recalled the night the calls were made and he was out fishing at the Gandy Bridge. He did not kill anybody that night. He went out about 9:30 or 10:00 that night. He doesn’t remember exactly what time it was when he got ready to go home, but when he started his engine up and was pulling his anchor in, the engine died. He started it again, it ran for a second and stopped. He got out his spotlight and started looking to see if he had an electrical problem. He started smelling gas. He pulled his big hatch away from my engine section and could smell a lot of gas in the bilge. It was obvious the bilge pump was pumping, he had busted a hose and was totallIy out of gas. A The boat had an inboard/outboard; with the inboard tank bu ilt into it. It had a forty-gallon tank below the deck. The top on the boat was fiberglass. He had a cover over the top of the engine which was hinged. The hinges would have to be loosened and the whole section would slide. He slid it forward and at that time he smelled a lot of gas. He called home about three times. His purpose was to get assistance and none came. He did not have anyone he could contact to go and get him and tow him. He was stuck on the boat and he just sacked out on the boat. It got daylight and he called home. The Coast Guard came by and he flagged them down. They told him they would come back to give him assistance if they could. They couldn’t. Another boat went by and he asked them for a tow to the marina. With daylight, Chandler could see what his problem was and he proceeded to tape the hose where it was leaking. It didn’t hold too well, but it did okay. Two guys gave him a tow to the Gandy Bridge Marina, he got five bucks of gas and went back home. He called home again. Chandler testified that he kept tape and spare parts on his boat. The next day was June 2 and Chandler picked up two orders for jobs. Eventually Chandler sold his boat to Mr. Carlton and bought a 26-footer with a cabin cruiser. Before he sold the boat he replaced the steering wheel because it was broken. Chandler said there were no concrete blocks at his house. When he bought the house it was immaculate. During the next week, Chandler testified that he and his wife went to a Fourth of July party, birthday parties, Memorial Day parties, out to dinner once or twice. Normal, everyday living. In the beginning of June, 1989 the only child around Chandler was his daughter, Whitney. His wife’s son, Jay, came down later in the summer from school in Rhode Island. To Mr. Zinober’s final direct question, "Did you kill these ladies?" Chandler answered, "I have never killed no one in my whole life. I have never–it’s ludicrous. It’s ridiculous." On cross examination, Chandler admitted that he had been convicted of a felony six times. He had been in custody since September, 1992. He said that he was not on the stand to talk about the rape trial; that he was not answering "no questions of the rape trial". He said he would talk about the Rogers homicide but that the rape case was still pending. Assistant State Attorney Doug Crow asked Chandler if he was taking the Fifth Amendment and he replied, "Yes, I am." To which Mr. Crow replied, "You are afraid your answers may incriminate you, is that why you refuse to answer?" Chandler responded, "I have invoked my Fifth Amendment from the rape case from Madeira Beach. I will answer no questions, sir, that relates to that case." Mr. Crow continued, "You are afraid your answers may incriminate you?" Chandler, "NO." "Then you can’t take the Fifth Amendment." At this point during the exchange between the prosecutor and Chandler, the court injected, "That is correct." Chandler was directed, "Answer the question, or else you will have to invoke the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination." To which Chandler replied, "I invoke the Fifth Amendment." Chandler testified that he left his fingerprints and handwriting on the pamphlet that the Rogers women had. He recalled the driver was Michelle as she had been standing on the driver’s side of the car. Chandler remembered reading in the paper about three bodies floating up in Tampa Bay. Four days later he recalled seeing the two girls’ pictures, along with the mother’s, in the paper. He did not realize that they were two of the same women he had met on June 1. He thought the pictures looked entirely different from the people he met. In November, 1989 Chandler saw a composite in the paper and it was only then that he realized that the women were the ones he had given directions to. The composite related to the Madeira Beach rape. Until May, 1994 when Chandler saw the marine toll bills for the evening of June 1, 1989 and the morning of June 2, he did not have any idea where he was. Chandler testified that his boat has broken down before and he a has stayed out all night in Tampa Bay numerous times. He would go out fishing all night probably two nights a week. Chandler believed that it was about fifteen minutes from the time the boat died and he could not restart it that he made the first phone call. He did not think that he knew the line was broken until the morning when it got daylight, He kept his tanks topped off and a forty-gallon tank was empty. He knew he had not used forty gallons of gas. He knew he had a leak. After Chandler called home, there was another six or seven hours and that he slept during that time. He said he called the Coast Guard and they told him to call a towing service. That it would cost $100 an hour to tow him. He declined. Chandler did not call any commercial services nor any of his friends who had boats. Chandler admitted that he had known since November, 1989 that he was a suspect in the murders. He admitted that he fled the state because he was afraid of the Madeira Beach case. It’s connection to the homicide did not worry him that much. Chandler testified that after the composite came out in the paper and on TV he went to Deltona for three days to visit Leslie Hicks, a prior live-in girlfriend. He did not tell her that he was a suspect in a rape and murder. He said that he went up to Ohio to make money to obtain an attorney. He was afraid the police were looking for him and had his phone tapped. While in Ohio he got with Rick and Kristal and obtained about a thousand dollars and two ounces of cocaine. He did not give it to a lawyer. He returned to Deltona. He had Kristal arrange to have a phone call made to his wife, Debbie, through a pay phone. He wanted to see if the cops had been to his house on the Madeira Beach case. He was concerned about the Rogers’ case, but he was more concerned about the Madeira Beach case. Chandler did not recall whether it was he who asked his wife to go to a second pay phone or if it was Kristal’s idea. Chandler admitted to Kristal that he was a suspect in a rape case. He said that he also mentioned to her that they were trying to link the Rogers homicide to the rape case. He told her that because he was nervous about it. He was scared. He did not want to go to jail. He needed money. He was not afraid of going to jail on the Rogers homicide. Chandler said that he told Kristal that he was innocent of both crimes. He denied that Kristal ever went to the bathroom. He said that she never left the room. Chandler testified that neither Kristal nor Rick were shocked or upset with what he was telling them. He thought they were concerned about helping him obtain a lawyer. He was chain-smoking cigarettes, but he said that he always did. He smoked two, three packs a day. He said he also always drinks a was positive that he did not back his car up that the tag wouldn’t be visible. Chandler denied tell ing Rick and Kristal to lie if anybody lot of coffee. He to the building so called looking for him. He was concerned that the police might have had his phone tapped, but he did not think they might try to contact his two daughters in Cincinnati. To the prosecutor’s question, "Were you on Madeira Beach on May 14, 1989, Chandler replied, "I plead the Fifth, sir." He did admit to being familiar with the John’s Pass area. He said that he had been out to that area prior to May, 1989. He did not have any jobs or friends in that area. Chandler plead the Fifth on response to five consecutive questions regarding the Madeira Beach rape. Chandler admitted to keeping duct tape over the broken steering wheel of his boat. Chandler invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege twice more in the presence of the jury regarding the rape case. The court admonished Chandler for refusing to answer the State’s questions. He was told that because he had taken the stand, the State could ask him questions. He could plead the Fifth Or answer the questions. The State asked another question regarding the Madeira Beach rape and, once again, Chandler plead the Fifth. Defense counsel requested a side-bar conference and asked for a continuing objection. This request for a standing objection was overruled because the court maintained that she had heard him answer some questions when she thought he might have taken the Fifth. He was not taking the Fifth every time. Chandler said that he kept a knife on the boat but that he did not keep any other weapons on the boat. He said the knife was not a weapon; that it was used for fishing, cutting line, cutting rope, He kept anchor line on the boat. He had two 100-foot anchors on the boat. He also had tie-off line which he kept up front on the boat. The Bayliner boat did not have any carpet in it at any time that Chandler knew of. The boat had a Volvo engine. On the morning of June 2, in daylight Chandler discovered he had a broken fuel line and he put tape over it. His bilge pump had pumped out forty gallons of gasoline into the bay. He said that he did not know when the gas had leaked out. It could have leaked out at his dock. Chandler said that he had an automatic bilge on his boat. At daybreak he said that he saw three Coast Guard people in a Zodiac, two men and a woman. He flagged them down with his shirt. They came over to him and he asked them if the could tow him in. They replied that they had to–something like a body was on the rock or something was on the rock; and that they’d be right back. In the meantime, after about ten to twenty minutes, two guys came by Chandler in a boat. He flagged them. They came over and pulled him over to Gandy. He put five or six bucks of gas into the boat and went home. Chandler did not recall the time he was towed. The boat towed him to the Gandy Bridge Marina on the east side of Tampa Bay. He had been out about a quarter of a mile from where the boats have to go underneath the bridge. They towed him about three to four miles at idle speed. It took maybe an hour. Chandler testified that he arrived home probably twenty minutes to half an hour after he left the marina. Chandler said that after he got home, he went to work. Based on the documents Chandler previously looked at, he had shown up between 7:15 and 7:30 on June 2, 1989 at Ms. Capo’s house. However, Chandler did not recall being there at that period of time. Chandler recalled that there were a series of phone tolls made while he was still out on the boat between one and two a.m. and eight fifteen to nine fifty-two. Chandler could not say for sure what time of day he went to Ashley Aluminum or Ms. Capo’s. He did not recall talking to Ms. Capo that morning. He said that Rollins Cooper could have picked up the materials that morning. However, Cooper’s signature was not on the material sheets for June 2. At some point after his return to Deltona from Cincinnati, Chandler returned to his wife and daughter. He said that he didn’t know why he returned. Chandler testified that he was still concerned that he could be arrested. He did not do anything to try to keep people from finding him. He went back to work. He admitted that he had fear in his head that he was a suspect and that his photograph was in the paper to the day he was arrested. In July, 1990 Chandler and his wife and daughter tried to move to California. He did not tell his friends, even Mr. Foley. Chandler did not tell his daughter. He said that his sister did not know. That he was not close to his sister. He was not close to anyone in his family. They went to California for fifteen, twenty days. They found it was too expensive so they came back. They did not return to Dalton Avenue. Chandler testified that his business was going under and he said that he couldn’t afford the house. His wife’s income was about a fourth of what she normally made. He had too many bills to pay. He had to let them foreclose on his house. Chandler testified that he left Cincinnati with twenty or thirty thousand dollars in his pocket as a result of the drug rip-off that he and Rick Mays did. He did not go to a lawyer to hire him. At that time getting money for a lawyer on the Madeira Beach rape case was of no concern of his. After the drug deal, Chandler took the money and they moved to Sunrise. After that they moved to Ormond Beach. They stayed there a year. Then they moved to Port Orange. He did not tell Mr. Foley, who was living in Port Orange, that he was there. His family did not know where he was. The phone was in his daughter’s name. The phone was in her name because they had bad credit and couldn’t get it in their name. He was concerned about being arrested in the Rogers homicide but he always thought it would be solved. He was more worried about doing a life sentence for a rape case. The Days Inn on Courtney Campbell Causeway was in the area where he lived when he lived on Dalton Avenue. Chandler testified that he had been in the canals back where the dock was at the Days Inn once or twice, but that he was not real familiar with it. With the aid of a photograph of the full view of the engine of the boat, Chandler testified that the broken line was in the front of the engine. The gas line came up from the gas tank which was under the floor. The gas tank was below deck. Although he repaired the gas line, he did not know whether it was busted before the gas tank or not. Chandler had not ever heard of an antisyphon valve. He was aware of a device that would prevent the gas from leaking out but that was with the engine, not the tank. The line went only to the fuel pump. There was no valve there that stopped it from coming out. Although he did not know if it was the top or the bottom of the gas tank, Chandler said that the break in the line was where it went to the gas tank. Chandler testified that when he gave directions to Michelle and Christe, Michelle was out of the car and Christe was coming out over top of the driver’s side window. Then Chandler corrected himself and said that although he did not know where Christe was sitting, she stuck her head out of the front window. Chandler could not recall whether it was the passenger or backseat window. Michelle handed him the brochure he wrote the directions on. The Rogers were parked down by the pumps at the gas station and that is where he had pulled up. Chandler said that in giving Michelle directions, he never mentioned Boy Scout to them. He never mentioned Columbus to them. He could not recall what time of day it was. And he did not remember if they drove off while he was still there. He did not recall writing anything else on the brochure. He identified his handwriting in pencil on the brochure. He had used their pencil. His handwriting was in pen at the bottom also. He had used their pen. Oba denied switching from pencil to pen. He said that he may have written both in pen. Could have been either. Chandler denied drawing a line, the circle, the X, or the words on the brochure. They were not a part of the discussion with the girls. He did not have any casual conversation with them about Busch Gardens; where they were from. He did not notice that the tags on their car were from Ohio. He estimated Michelle’s age to be anywhere from seventeen to nineteen. She was pretty. He did not pay much attention to Christe. He did not give them directions to the Westshore Mall. Chandler had contact with Customs agents in 1991. He denied making repeated inquiries to them as to the status of the Rogers homicide investigation. The only case Chandler said he ever discussed with Customs was making money from selling drugs. He never discussed the Madeira Beach rape case with them. The State questioned Chandler twice about the Madeira Beach rape and he plead the Fifth both times in the presence of the jury. Defense counsel’s motion for mistrial based upon Mr. Chandler being required to go over the privilege was denied in side-bar conference. Chandler totally disputed what Kristal and Rick May said; it never happened. He also disputed what some of the people from the jail testified as to what he had said. The state presented several rebuttal witnesses. Among these witnessess was Detective Ralph Pflieger who testified that he reviewed all the evidence from the Rogers’ hotel room and did not find any Maas Brothers receipts, bags, or merchandise tags. A cellmate of Chandler’s, Edwin Ojeda, testified that he overheard Chandler tell another prisoner, Daniel Maxwell, that his biggest mistake was leaving the note in the car. Coast Guardsman Robert Wesley Shidner was recalled to the stand. He disputed Chandler’s claim that on the morning after the Rogers were killed, he flagged down three Coast Guard people in a Zodiac, two men and a woman and that they told him they had "to– something like a body was on the rock or something was on the rock; and that they’d be right back." Shidner testified that the Coast Guard does not make routine patrols and that on June 2, 1989, there was not a crew out on Tampa Bay looking for a body. He also testified that the standard crew is two on a boat at a time, but that they had a three-person crew on June 4 to help retrieve the Rogers’ bodies and that on June 2, 1989, the Coast Guard boat never left the St. Petersburg station. To rebut Chandler’s claim that he was out all night because he ran out of gas, the state presented a certified boat mechanic, James Hensley, who testified that Chandler’s fuel line was possibly still the original, it was in good shape and showed no signs of repair. He also testified that gas dissolves tape so it would not repair a leaking gas line. Further, fuel does not leak out when there is a hole in the gas line because of the anti-syphoning valve. Even if the anti-syphoning valve failed, it would not have leaked because Chandler’s tank was on the bottom of the boat with the gas line coming out of the top of the motor. If the gas line broke, the engine would suck air and stop, but the gas would stay in the tank. Customs Officer Whitney Azure testified that Chandler asked him several times about the Rogers investigation. At the close of the evidence the jury returned a verdict of guilty of murder in the first degree, as charged. The penalty phase was scheduled for the next day. Chandler waived the presentation of any mitigating evidence. 38 Defense counsel put on the record that he would have called a mental health expert, as well as family members. Chandler confirmed that he did not wish to present any mitigating evidence. The state presented judgment and sentences for prior armed robberies. The state also presented the armed robbery victims, Peggy Harrington and Robert Plemmons, who testified as to the underlying facts of the prior armed robberies. Peggy Harrington testified that while she was at a jeweler’s remount show Chandler robbed her and a partner at gunpoint of $750,000 in jewelery. FDLE agent John Halliday testified that the gun, as well as some of the jewelery, was recovered during the search of Chandler’s house on September 25, 1992. Robert Plemmons testified that Chandler and another man kicked in the front door of his home in Holly Hill. Chandler hit him in the head with a pistol. Chandler took Plemmons’ girlfriend in the bedroom where she was tied up on the bed and stripped from the waist down. Judge Schaeffer sustained an objection to Plemmons’ testifying as to what his girlfriend told him had happened in the bedroom. Chandler presented some documentary evidence as mitigating evidence, including college credits. The jury returned three 12-0 recommendations for death.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
November 15, 2011 Ohio Reginald Brooks, Jr.
Vaughn Brooks
Niarchos Brooks
Reginald Brooks executed
On Saturday morning, March 6, 1982, Beverly Brooks left her home in Cleveland, Ohio, to go to work, leaving behind her three sons (17, 15, 11), who were still asleep, and her husband, Reginald, who was awake and upon whom she had served divorce papers two days earlier. At roughly 8:00 a.m., after Beverly had left the house, Reginald shot each of his sons in the head while they were asleep in their beds. By the time Beverly returned home from work that day and discovered her dead children, Brooks had boarded a bus to Las Vegas, Nevada. On March 8, after tracing the credit card Brooks had used to purchase his bus ticket, police took him into custody in Utah. Although Brooks told the police he was carrying just one piece of luggage, a search of his wallet produced a baggage-claim check for a second suitcase. Inside that suitcase were Brooks’ personal items and a box containing a fully loaded.38 special revolver and ammunition. Fingerprints on the gun box and two cartridges matched Brooks’ fingerprints, and ballistics testing showed that the only two slugs that could be recovered from the victims were fired from the same.38 special. Authorities traced the gun to one that Brooks had purchased on February 25, 1982, and found gun-powder nitrate on the right sleeve of Brooks’ coat. On March 10, 1982, a grand jury indicted Brooks on three counts of aggravated murder. Brooks pleaded not guilty, after which the trial court referred him for a pre-trial competency hearing. Following a hearing at which a court-appointed psychiatrist, Dr. Aaron Billowitz, testified that Brooks suffered from schizophrenia, the court found Brooks “competent to stand trial,” reasoning that he has the “ability to understand the charge against him and work and cooperate with his attorneys in his defense.” Brooks waived his right to a jury trial and, as permitted under Ohio law, proceeded to trial before a three-judge panel. During the guilt phase of the trial, Brooks prohibited his lawyers from presenting an opening or closing statement, putting on any witnesses or cross-examining certain witnesses. On September 23, 1983, the three-judge panel found Brooks guilty of the aggravated murders of his sons and referred him for a presentence investigation and psychiatric evaluation. At the sentencing hearing on November 29–30, 1983, Brooks presented three witnesses: Dr. Stanley Althof, Dr. Kurt Bertschinger and Paul Hrisko. Althof, the chief psychologist at the Cuyahoga County Court Psychiatric Clinic, testified that Brooks suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, which “impairs a person,” “reduces his judgment,… reduces his control, and likely did contribute to the commission of some crime.” Bertschinger testified that Brooks suffered No. 05-4461 Brooks v. Bagley Page 3 from psychogenic amnesia, which prevented him from having “conscious recall of the alleged criminal activities in which he was involved.” Because Brooks’ amnesia prohibited Bertschinger from “obtain[ing] from Brooks anything about the incident, and because there was absolutely no collateral information concerning Brooks’ mental state at the time of the murders,” Bertschinger could “make no opinion as to mitigating circumstances.” Hrisko, one of the three attorneys who represented Brooks during the guilt and penalty phases of the trial, indicated that Brooks refused to testify at both phases of the trial and that Brooks refused to submit to a sodium-amytal test, which psychiatrists use with trauma survivors to access repressed or unconscious material. The State presented three witnesses at sentencing: James Hughey, Brooks’ wife, Beverly, and Billowitz. Trying to show that Brooks understood psychology and had contrived his amnesia to appear incompetent, the State called Hughey (a Cleveland police officer) and Beverly Brooks to testify that, in the early 1970s, Brooks had taken college-level psychology courses and that psychology-related books were recovered from Brooks’ residence after the murders. The State called Billowitz, a psychiatrist who evaluated Brooks on four occasions and who submitted multiple reports to the court, to testify that Brooks “was legally sane at the time of the act.” Billowitz conceded on cross-examination that Brooks “was schizophrenic at the time of this act” and “may have experienced paranoid delusions” at that time, but nonetheless concluded that Brooks “maintained the capacity to appreciate that killing was wrong and… had the capacity to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law (as indicated by the great amount of circumstantial evidence showing detailed planning and awareness of escaping detection).” On November 30, the three-judge panel sentenced Brooks to death for each of the murders. In its written opinion, the panel recognized that Brooks “suffered from a mental illness—schizophrenia”—“before, during, and after commission of the murders,” but concluded that the “mental illness or defect did not cause him to lack substantial capacity to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or conform his conduct to the requirements of the law.” The panel also acknowledged that Brooks’ “family relationship had steadily deteriorated” since 1976 and that “it was entirely conceivable that Brooks was under extreme stress due to this deteriorated relationship,… his lack of employment, and the threat of divorce”—including being served with divorce papers two days before the murders—but found that Brooks’ “free will was not impaired by” these events or his mental illness. Brooks, the court stated, “in a single course of conduct, with prior calculation and design, chose to take a gun to the heads of his three sons and execute them through a twisted sense of jealousy, hatred, or despair. He had the ability to refrain from commission of those heinous acts.” In reaching this conclusion, the panel “rejected Brooks’ claim of psychogenic amnesia,” reasoning that he had amnesia “only about those things that were incriminating, remembering things that were not incriminating, even though the incriminating and non-incriminating incidents or facts occurred at exactly the same time or close together in time…. His denials were lies, not memory lapses, and… he clearly was not a victim of psychogenic amnesia.” The court in the end “concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that the aggravating circumstances outweigh all of the mitigating factors.”
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
November 16, 2011 Texas Alyssa Vasquez, 7 Guadalupe Esparza executed
On June 6, 1999, Guadalupe Esparza abducted Alyssa Vasquez from her home while her mother was out and the babysitter was next door. He raped and strangled her, and abandoned her body in a nearby field.On the night of the murder, before Alyssa Vasquez was discovered missing, Esparza telephoned her residence several times and came by looking for her mother and asking when she was going to return home. The babysitter discovered that Alyssa was missing at around 2:30 a.m. and later observed Esparza running down the street away from the residence. Police found Esparza at his residence, which was one and one-half to two miles from Alyssa Vasquez’s apartment, at approximately 4:00 a.m., and found Esparza’s blood-spotted shirt and boxer shorts in a trash can outside the residence. The evidence also showed that Esparza admitted his involvement in the offense to a detention guard and to a fellow inmate at the Bexar County Jail, and implied his involvement to another inmate; the only contrary evidence was Esparza’s own testimony, in which he denied making these statements. Scientific testing revealed that Esparza’s DNA was consistent with the DNA extracted from spermatozoa on Alyssa’s oral swab. UPDATE: Esparza asked for forgiveness from the victim’s family members shortly before he was executed: "To the family of Alyssa Vasquez, I hope you will find peace in your heart. My sympathy goes out to you. I hope you find it in your heart to forgive me. I don’t know why all this happened."
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
November 18, 2011 Idaho Stacy Baldwin, 21
Susan Michelbacher, 34
Nolan Haddon, 20
Paul Rhoades executed
Stacy Baldwin, murder victimSusan Michelbacher, murder victimNolan Haddon, murder victimPaul Ezra Rhoades had been loitering around convenience stores in the Blackfoot and Idaho Falls area, including the Red Mini Barn in Blackfoot. Newlywed Stacy Baldwin worked at the Red Mini Barn and began her night shift around 9:45 p.m. on February 27, 1987. Some time before 11:00 p.m., Carrie Baier and two other girls rented videos at the Mini Barn from Stephanie Cooper, Stacy’s co-worker. Stephanie’s shift ended at 11:00 p.m, which left Stacy alone. When Carrie Baier returned around midnight, she noticed a man leave the store, get into a pickup truck (it turned out to be one used by the Rhoades family), and drive recklessly toward her. She saw a passenger next to the driver, but neither she nor her friends could identify the driver or the passenger. Carrie went into the Mini Barn but could not find Stacy, though Stacy’s coat was still there and her car was outside. The last recorded transaction at the store was at 12:15 a.m. $249 was missing from the cash register. Rhoades and another male had coffee at Stan’s Bar and Restaurant, near the Mini Barn, sometime between 1:30 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. on February 28. Stacy Baldwin’s body was found later that morning near some garbage dumpsters on an isolated road leading to an archery range. She had been shot three times. According to a pathologist, Stacy died from a gunshot wound to the back and chest, but may have lived for an hour or so after the fatal shot was fired. Nolan Haddon worked the night shift at Buck’s convenience store in Idaho Falls, Idaho on March 16, 1987. His brother Clay visited Nolan at the store shortly before he was killed. He remembered talking and joking with his brother. Another brother, Wes, said his brother was lovable, friendly and easy to be around. Nolan liked baseball, hunting, fishing and camping. The next morning, Buck’s owner found Nolan lying on the floor in a pool of blood. He had been shot five times, his spinal cord severed. He was still alive at the time, but unconscious. He died at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center on March 17, 1987. An inventory of the store showed that some BIC lighters, Marlboro cigarettes, and $116 in cash were missing. Susan Michelbacher was a junior high school special education teacher who didn’t feel well on the morning of March 19, 1987. Around 6:30 a.m. she decided to go to work to make lesson plans for a substitute so she could return home and rest. She drove her 1984 Ford Econo Line van. She wasn’t home when her husband came back at noon, nor was she there when he returned at 5:30. He called the school and found out that Susan had been in earlier to do her lesson plan but had not been at school during the day. Meanwhile, around 7:30 a.m., Valerie Stapf nearly had a head-on collision in a parking lot with someone driving a van that looked exactly like Susan Michelbacher’s vehicle. Stapf identified Rhoades as the passenger. She thought the driver was similar in appearance to Susan Michelbacher, but could not make a positive identification. After a short standoff, the van backed up and went toward the First Interstate Bank. Susan pulled her van to the drive-in window just as the bank opened at 8:30 a.m. She gave the teller a check for $1000, which the teller cashed. Ten to fifteen minutes later, Susan cashed another $1000 check at another of the bank’s branches. Around 10:00 a.m., Susan Browning saw Susan Michelbacher’s van enter her driveway and stall while backing out. Browning identified Rhoades as the driver, Harry Burke as one passenger, and Rhoades’s sister as another. Later in the day, two other people saw Rhoades, or someone who looked like Rhoades, in Susan Michelbacher’s van. The van was found the next day in the parking lot of the bank where the first $1000 check was cashed. It had fresh scratches, a smashed tailpipe, and 200 more miles on it than when Susan left home the morning before. Susan’s body was found on March 21 in a remote, rural area less than a mile from her home. An autopsy revealed that Susan had been raped and had been shot nine times — once while standing and the remaining times while lying down. The medical examiner said the attacker had ejaculated into the victim’s mouth when she was either almost dead or already dead. Rhoades could not be excluded as the semen donor, nor could he be ruled out as the source of head hair retrieved from Susan’s body and van or of pubic hair retrieved from her body. The next day Rhoades showed Vicky Miller a roll of cash and told her that “he had come into some money” and was going to the Jackpot Casino. Later that evening, Rhoades was seen in a Ford LTD with a large amount of cash at a gas station between Idaho Falls and the Jackpot Casino. He told the cashier he was going to Nevada. On March 22 or 23, Rhoades’s mother reported her green Ford LTD had been stolen. On March 24, a Nevada state trooper noticed that a green Ford had been wrecked in the median of the highway about twenty miles outside Wells, Nevada. A truck driver saw Rhoades get out of the car and fumble with a dark brown item and then run off into the sagebrush. When the trooper was able to respond twenty minutes later, he ran the plates and found out that the car had been reported stolen by Pauline Rhoades, Rhoades’s mother. The trooper also found a.38 caliber revolver lying outside the driver’s door and a holster about forty-five feet away. The gun was loaded with special lead bullets. Ballistics testing would show that this gun was used to fire the bullets that killed Susan Michelbacher and Stacy Baldwin. Rhoades’s fingerprints were also lifted from the LTD. Rhoades turned up about 11:00 in the morning of March 25 at a ranch a mile and a half from where the LTD was found. Later that day, he got a ride from the ranch to Wells, Nevada, where he was dropped off at the 4 Way Casino around 9:00 p.m. Wells police officers learned that Rhoades was at the 4 Way Casino. Rhoades was arrested at a blackjack table, handcuffed, and placed across the trunk of the police car and read his Miranda rights. While being arrested, Rhoades said he “wanted the money that was on the game.” Meanwhile, Idaho police officers (who had gone to Nevada after being alerted to discovery of the stolen car belonging to Rhoades’s mother) were contacted and they, too, went to the casino. As the Idaho team approached, Rhoades, who knew one of them, spontaneously said “I did it.” Immediately after this, Officer Victor Rodriguez, from Idaho, advised Rhoades of his Miranda rights. Rhoades was asked if he understood those rights and said something to the effect of “I do, yes.” Detective Dennis Shaw, also from Idaho, searched Rhoades and found a ten dollar bill, a one dollar bill, and a one hundred dollar bill. To test Rhoades’s awareness, Shaw told Rhoades he had found three dollars. Rhoades responded: “There’d better be a hundred and eleven dollars there.” Rhoades was then taken to the Wells Highway Patrol substation. While taking photographs at the station, Shaw said something like “If I had arrested you earlier, three people would be alive. The girl in Blackfoot and the two people in Idaho Falls.” Rhoades responded: “I did it.” Rhoades had a digital wrist watch in his pocket, which he claimed to have found in a “barrow pit.” It was just like the one Stacy was wearing the night she was killed. Forensic analysis would show that footprints found in the snow near Baldwin’s body were consistent with the size and pattern of Rhoades’s boots, and that Rhoades’s hair was consistent with a hair on Stacy’s blouse. Rhoades also admitted to a cellmate that he kidnapped Stacy Baldwin, took her to an archery range intending to rape her but was unable to do so because she was hysterical, and ran from him so he shot her twice in the back. Based on this evidence, the jury found Rhoades guilty of murder in the first degree, kidnapping in the first degree, and robbery. The state court held an aggravation and mitigation hearing, after which it sentenced Rhoades to death on the conviction for first degree murder and the conviction for first degree kidnapping. In 1987, Paul Ezra Rhoades was charged with the rape and murder of Susan Michelbacher as well as the murder and robbery of Nolan Haddon. Rhoades pleaded not guilty to all charges and filed a motion to sever the charges, which was subsequently granted. Rhoades was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death on the charges relating to the rape and murder of Susan Michelbacher and also sentenced to death in the murder of Stacy Baldwin. The parties subsequently entered into a plea agreement relating to the murder and robbery of Nolan Haddon wherein Rhoades entered an “Alford” plea, maintaining his innocence in the case but conceding that “a conviction may be had on the charges as presently filed.” Rhoades was sentenced to serve two concurrent indeterminate life sentences for the Haddon murder and robbery. The evidence that would have been introduced at a trial for the Haddon murder included the gun used to kill Nolan found in the vicinity of a green car abandoned by Rhoades, statements made by Rhoades at the time of his arrest, and statements allegedly made to a jailhouse informer. Further evidence would have included witness testimony placing a car matching the description of the car in which Rhoades was found at the scene of the Haddon murder, law enforcement officers’ testimony that items found in Rhoades’ possession were similar to the items taken at the time of the Haddon robbery, and testimony regarding Rhoades’ purchase of bullets matching the caliber of those used in Haddon’s murder. The gun is notable in the present case as the same gun was presented as the murder weapon in the case relating to the rape and murder of Susan Michelbacher. Nolan Haddon’s family attended the trial for Susan Michelbacher’s murder.

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